A West Coast-based super ISO is combining transaction services, electronic marketing and tablet technology to create a compelling “bundle” for ISOs and agents to sell to merchants.

“2014 will be a very exciting year for us as we bring the technology together for retailers and package it for our sales partners to present,” says Jeff Broudy, vice president of sales and marketing for Total Merchant Services Inc. 

The Woodland Hills, Calif.-based super ISO is accomplishing those feats by melding the technology it acquired by buying two companies in the last year or so.

In late 2012, Total closed the deal on Fanminder, an electronic marketing platform. In September 2013, the ISO bought Registroid, a software provider for electronic tablets.

Fanminder enables merchants to launch VIP-discount programs for repeat customers or create offers—like buy one pizza, get a second for half price—on websites and social media, Broudy says. So far, 20% of the super ISO’s new accounts are choosing to incorporate Fanminder into the way they do business, and that percentage could rise as more salespeople become adept at pitching the product, he notes.

Registroid, which Total is still testing, will help merchants manage functions like inventory control. It will also help them use data to grow their businesses through a better understanding of their customers, like knowing who comes for lunch but not for breakfast. Total plans to begin offering the software to merchants in the second quarter.

“The technology is changing retailers’ behavior,” Broudy says of the products.

Still, many merchants are lagging. He cites the example of a neighborhood restaurant where he’s eaten perhaps a hundred times in the last 17 years.

“I’m not in their database,” Broudy says. “They have nothing on me.”

That could change with the help of the software Total is introducing, he asserts, by tracking what time of day he stops in and what he buys. Add that to personal data put it all on a tablet, and the restaurant can transform its approach to service.

The eatery could, for example, deliver a complimentary bottle of wine or a free dessert to Broudy’s table on his birthday.

“This is where we’re going,” he says. “We’re using data in ways that amaze.”

At the same time, both products help salespeople sign up new merchants because they provide a conversation-starter and a differentiator from the competition, Broudy says.

The products help retain established clients by giving them more services than most competitors can offer, he notes.

In either case—new business or old—the products help salespeople avoid the pitfall of talking to small-business owners about transaction pricing, Broudy says.

With those advantages for salespeople, Total hopes to recruit lots of ISOs and independent sales agents to augment the thousands already selling for the company.

Total does not emphasize in-house selling and instead relies on partners that range from ISOs that employ staffs and make selling for Total their core business to part-time sales agents looking to make some extra income.

“We welcome all types of sales partners,” Broudy says.

Total is training its salespeople to understand and promote the new products by holding web seminars. The company sometimes sends representatives to ISOs’ offices to teach the staff about the products, and some salespeople travel to Total Some travel to Total headquarters for briefings.

As an early adopter of free-terminal programs, Total wants to keep prices low, Broudy says. Merchants may pay a monthly fee with part of the proceeds going to salespeople in the form of residuals, he says.

“Price is dictated by value,” Broudy says. “We’re going to have a fair and competitive price.”

Besides launching the products in the United States, Total is introducing them in Canada. Total has been operating north of the border for about six months.

In both countries Total is dedicated to integrating transactions, management and growth for merchants, Broudy says.

He described what he views as “an acceleration of that mission” since Joe Kaplan joined the company as CEO in early 2012.

“That’s what we live for,” Broudy says of those goals.      

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